Marketers are always being told to conduct AB testing, here is how to do it
Imagine that you’re the manager of a top Premier League side like Manchester United. Despite seeming like the better team on paper, your first-choice striker is failing to consistently score the goals needed to win games. This results in points being dropped, and rumbles of discontent echo among the fans and the board.
However, you have another young player on your bench who, despite showing potential, has yet to be tested in a league game. So you try a new tactic – at half time for the next 5 games, you’ll substitute your favoured striker (Player A) for the young player (Player B). What happens is that Player B scores in the second half of all 5 games. Based on these results, you begin including him in the starting line-up, and he scores twice each game for the rest of the season. Your team soars to the top of the table, the trophies roll in and the board are showering you with praise.
This is exactly how A/B testing works. It’s all about comparing two versions of your website to see which one performs better with your target audience, improving key performance indicators (KPIs) like conversion rate and revenue.
You can use it to test and refine almost every facet of your website – anything from landing pages, promotions, calls-to-action, emails and search ads. Usually, A is the existing feature you’re currently working with (known as the ‘control element’) while B is the alternative option you want to test (‘the variant’). You then split your live traffic into two groups of subjects and direct them towards the two versions. When the experiment is done and dusted, you select the version that has produced the best results to improve your bottom line.
Surprisingly, only 52% of companies and agencies that use landing pages actually test them for ways to improve conversions. But with the right testing methods, companies can see up to 300% increase in their conversion rates.
But how to get started? In this new infographic from Visual Web Optimizer, they’ll show what it takes to go from being a beginner to an A/B testing power user.